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The startling truth about aluminium cans

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The startling truth about aluminium cans

Businesses are being encouraged to guide their employees into greener habits by reminding them to recycle aluminium drinks cans.

A few simple posters with some startling truths about aluminium – placed strategically around the office or workplace – can make people pause and think about the energy and resources that went into the drinks can they’re holding.

How will recycling aluminium cans help?

Experts estimate that recycling a single aluminium can will save enough energy to power a TV for up to three hours or an iPod for up to 20 hours.

These may seem like tiny increments but if we examine the numbers, we soon see that huge amounts of energy and raw materials are squandered when we simply toss a can into the wrong bin.

Experts estimate that 90% of all drinks cans in the UK are made from aluminium with more than 80 million aluminium and steel cans sent to UK landfills every day.

The average UK household uses over 600 aluminium cans each year. Times that by 27 million households, and you’re looking at 16.2 billion cans – serious quantities!

It takes the same amount of energy to make one new aluminium can as it does to recycle 20.

Aluminium cans are easy to recycle and can be back on the shelf within 60 days; they can be recycled numerous times without loss of quality and 75% of the aluminium ever made is still in production today.

They are worth up to 20 times more than other packaging materials. Estimates suggest that at any one time, there are over £30 million worth of cans waiting to be collected and recycled.

Around £36 million worth of aluminium is sent to landfill each year. But it is still the world’s most recycled packaging material, with 72% of the cans sold in the UK being recycled.

What countries are recycling aluminium well?

At the moment, Finland and Germany are world-leaders, recycling a stunning 99% of their aluminium waste.

Recycling just one tonne of aluminium saves up to 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The average can only weighs 15 grams and you’ll need 66,666 to make a metric tonne – so it’s easy to think of them as disposable.

But every single can you hold in your hand has been manufactured, stored and shipped – at the expense of significant sums of energy.

So spare a thought for the simple aluminium can and get in touch with us to discuss your business’s waste management needs.

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